The International Court of Justice and the Preservation of Peace in the 21st Century: Global Governance in Action

Professor Achilles SkordasThe project is conducted by Professor Achilles Skordas and is funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Program for Research and Innovation (Marie Skłodowska-Curie action). It will run from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2018.

The project explores the Court’s capacity to preserve peace and stability in world society, and to contribute to effective global governance. Thus, it discusses the relationship of the ICJ with the political organs of the United Nations (Security Council and General Assembly), the impact of diplomacy and of the resolutions of the above organs on the jurisprudence of the ICJ, and reflects more broadly on the relationship between peace, justice, and international law.

The preservation of peace has been the driving force in the evolution of international adjudication. During the 19th and 20th centuries, international legal institutions were created with the aim of guaranteeing an ‘order of peace’. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations – an international organization created to secure international peace, security, and stability. The distinction between international peace and international law lies therefore at the heart of the project. One of the main questions is whether the ICJ has framed a normative-sociological concept of peace and ‘good order’ as foundation of its approach to international law. In view of the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century, the project will investigate the potential of the ICJ to play a role as an autonomous governance institution, transcending the boundaries of settlement of inter-state disputes.

The project’s two key hypotheses are: (i) that the ICJ occupies a core position in the heterarchical system of global governance, international adjudication, and preservation of peace as the World Court, and (ii) that it indirectly steers the evolution of international law by guiding the specialized international courts and tribunals via a common frame of normative reference that it constructs. These hypotheses will be tested by critically assessing the role and function of the ICJ in the complex environment of world society, and by locating the counter-trends of its jurisprudence.

If you wish to know more please contact: